Brushing Up: A Conversation with Lacey West, Art Recruitment Specialist for the international art world

LAWIIn this conversation, we delve into her experience and the impact arts leaders can make, the qualities that drive success in the art world, and the greatest need they see facing the arts and their organization today. She also touches on the importance of making art accessible and its profound role in uniting people, enlightening culture, and preserving the essence of art in our lives…

🤩 What’s your favorite thing about what you do?

“I would have to say it is being able to work with so many people from different sectors within the arts. I’m in the lucky position of working with well-established galleries and auction houses while on the other hand also engaging with those looking to either start their career or are looking to switch their careers into the arts. I love meeting new people and building a long-lasting relationship with them and have been able to achieve this through the work I do, both locally and internationally.”

🌟 What is one way arts leaders can enhance their impact? OR what are the top qualities you see in successful arts leaders?

“I think just having a genuine passion and enjoyment for what they are doing really makes a difference. So many come into the art world expecting to network and attend glamorous events but if you don’t necessarily have a deeper passion for art, it sort of falls flat and you’ll find people coming in and then leaving in a short amount of time. I think those two factors are essential for anyone in the art world and it’s definitely the values that I see most from both groups of people that I work with.”

💡What is the greatest need facing your organization and/or the arts today?

“I would say providing opportunities for those just entering the art world. It’s quite well known that it can be challenging to get one’s foot in the door and that’s what I have been trying to remedy with LWAI. We receive a substantial amount of messages from those just entering the job market and I think it’s really important to provide a space where they have access to relevant resources and advice for their CV’s, cover letters and the interview process. In a sector that can be really competitive, it’s important for me and my company to ensure that all of our candidates are given a chance to stand out while ensuring they are applying for positions that best suit their needs and interests.”

art has been with us since the beginning of time

🌈Why is making art accessible important?

“I think it goes back to the fundamental understanding on the role of art – that of using it to unite people, enlighten on a cultural level and provide an escape from everyday life. Art and people have gone hand-in-hand since the beginning of time and somehow that has been forgotten. The last few decades have seen art become a commodity and therefore almost detach itself from the hands that made it or the people that view it. I think by providing a wider access to art it contributes towards the wider evolution of art history, art movements and an opening for more voices in the art historical discourse.”

💫 Closing Thoughts

Lacey’s perspective offers a unique vantage point into the art world, emphasizing the significance of passion and accessibility. What do you think are the essential qualities of successful arts leaders, and why is making art accessible important in today’s world? Share your thoughts and join the dialogue. 🎨✨

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Brushing Up: pathways in arts leadership